Looks like SOF missed the memo:
There is wiggle room in the status-of-forces agreement with Baghdad that was worked out in 2008, in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration. Pentagon officials expect some U.S. forces to remain, even though the agreement calls for all troops to be out of Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.
Those holdovers may include some of the 3,000 Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Army Delta Force and other specialized warriors who remain locked in combat.
With regular U.S. ground combat brigades leaving, special forces commandos have become the key to successfully handing over all military duties to the Iraqis 15 months from now.
The commandos train Iraqis to do the jobs of American soldiers. They also make up joint terrorist-hunting units with government troops to rid the country of al Qaeda operatives tied to Osama bin Laden in Pakistan…
“There was no reduction of SOF during the drawdown,” Col. Conder said. “The U.S. special operations mission has not changed.”
The bug hunts will continue in concert with Iraq’s internal security apparatus. And Foreign Internal Defense is a classic mission set for the Green Berets, in particular, and is defined as “participation by civilian and military agencies of a government in any of the action programs taken by another government or other designated organization to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency.” FID requires a host nation in partnership, and so long as the Iraqi government remains deadlocked – and Iran continues to play its nasty little games in the Shi’a heartland – that relationship will continue to be problematical.
“Belgium’s government is also deadlocked,” (Globalsecurity.org’s John) Pike said. “Caracas has violence comparable to Baghdad, and yet the sun still comes up in the east every day. Seriously dysfunctional countries can muddle through somehow, even if they are not attractive vacation destinations.”
Although when Caracas levels of violence arrive in Belgium, I believe that Mr. Pike will be a little less blithe.